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Covid-19: Areas without running water or proper sanitation can't limit exposure

20 March 2020 12:59 PM
Tags:
Sanitation
Toilets
Running water
townships
COVID-19
social distancing
self-isolation
Dr Jo Barnes
community taps

Epidemiologist and health expert Dr Jo Barnes says people living in communities with no running water or toilets are at a greater risk.

This is beacuse they are forced to leave their homes to access basic service, and therefore, are unable to self-isolate.

As authorities implement measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, Dr Barnes says not enough attention has been given to South Africa's townships, rural areas, and informal settlements.

She says people who are forced to use communal toilets and taps cannot limit their exposure to others.

Their hygiene practices are also compromised in high-density areas.

Dr Barnes says local authorities have failed to proactively plan to provide water and sanitation for poorer communities.

The academic says a coronavirus lockdown seems inevitable in South Africa.

I'm so concerned because such a large percentage of our population does not have clean, running water available.

Dr Jo Barnes, epidemiologist and senior lecturer - Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences

They also do not have access to a toilet so they are forced to go out and leave their homes several times a day.

Dr Jo Barnes, epidemiologist and senior lecturer - Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences

We need watering points closer to people's homes so that they don't have to walk that far, we also need proper management of those watering points.

Dr Jo Barnes, epidemiologist and senior lecturer - Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences

People are being forced to leave their homes every day. That is where the infection jumps;

Dr Jo Barnes, epidemiologist and senior lecturer - Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences

Listen to the discussion for more:


20 March 2020 12:59 PM
Tags:
Sanitation
Toilets
Running water
townships
COVID-19
social distancing
self-isolation
Dr Jo Barnes
community taps

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